Etiquette for Hire: Part 2 – Interviews & Resignations

Adrian Fernand – Australia’s most stylish Agony Uncle – takes a look at the world of hiring and firing in Etiquette for Hire. Part 2 answers those all-important questions on interviews, follow-ups and how to resign in style.

The Interview

If you’re fortunate enough to get to the interview stage, view it as meeting your partner’s parents for the first time. Be on your best behaviour and you won’t put a foot wrong. Be warm but not overly informal, don’t sit down without being offered first or asking, show genuine interest even if you’re beyond bored and whatever you do, don’t put your feet on the table. Oh and for God’s sake, iron your shirt beforehand.

One thing to remember is that if you provide references after an interview, always make sure you inform your nominated referees immediately. There’s nothing more awkward for the referee than receiving a call or the employer making the call and one party not knowing about the other. Worse still is nominating a former manager with whom you never had a good relationship who isn’t going to give you a sterling review, or worse, not remember you at all. Now why would you set yourself up for failure?

The Follow-Up

In the old days, in order to show you were interested in a job you would call every alternate day, and sometimes put on muffled voices just to get past the receptionist. Finally when a prospective employer relented and you’d beaten them into submission only then would you be considered for a role. In employment, the hungriest always eat first.

These days, people stare at their phone like it’s a foreign object when it actually rings, but it’s a valuable tool in communicating your interest. If you’re waiting to hear back after a job interview or would like to follow up on your original application, there is nothing to say you can’t pick up the phone and place a polite call. Emails can always be avoided and forgotten, but human resources managers can’t dodge phone calls forever. When you get through, politely introduce yourself and tell them what you’re calling about straightaway. Don’t seem too eager, don’t ask too many questions and know when to pull back. If a police officer is at your front door with a restraining order, you’ve probably overdone it.

The Resignation

If you’re lucky in your endeavours, then finally the time will come for you to say goodbye.

While for some, exits will be tinged with sadness, whereas most of us would prefer to skip out of the joint under the cloak of darkness, potted plant and a drawerful of stolen office supplies firmly secured under our arm.

Whatever the sentiment, ensure that your resignation letter has the right amount of professionalism and appears to be heartfelt, even if you’d prefer to set your former office alight . You should never burn your bridges as you never know when you might encounter a colleague or a former boss further in your career. Or, if you’re going to go down in a blaze of glory, you better make it really good and even YouTube viral sensation-worthy—like this guy:

Video reproduced from YouTube / Joey DeFrancesco
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